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Arik Armstead is in his ninth year with the San Francisco 49ers since being drafted in the first round by the team in 2015.

So far this season, Armstead has notched 27 tackles, four tackles for loss, 13 quarterback hits and 5.0 sacks in 12 games. 

"Not only is he doing great things on the field," defensive coordinator Steve Wilks said. "But he's doing outstanding things in the community."

Keep reading to learn more about San Francisco's defensive lineman.

Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Nominee

Armstead has been named the 49ers 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee, an award given annually to a player demonstrating outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field.

Armstead's fourth-consecutive nomination demonstrates his steadfast dedication and commitment to the community. Since 2019, the defensive lineman has helped raise and personally donated over $2 million to Sacramento and Bay Area youth. As a team captain, Armstead encourages his teammates to use their platform to support underserved communities, welcoming them by his side to empower and inspire.

"I really take my career as what I do on and off the field. I think they go hand in hand," said Armstead. "I want to use my blessing to bless others. I feel like it's my responsibility. When it's all said and done, I want to leave this earth a better place than when I was born. I think that's what we should all strive to do."

Armstead Academic Project

Education is at the forefront of Armstead's commitment to the Bay Area, as the defensive lineman founded the Armstead Academic Project in 2019 to ensure every student, no matter their socioeconomic status, has direct access to a quality education through a positive learning environment and resources needed in order to thrive and be successful.

The Armstead Academic Project offers various tools to empower at-risk and underserved students, including creative and scholastic workshops, school supply programs and scholarships.

"When I sat down and thought about how I could have the biggest impact in Sacramento, the No. 1 glaring theme in terms of when you look at equality in our society, the achievement gap and financial gap between socioeconomic classes, education was glaring for me to address some of those issues," Armstead said.

Through his foundation, Armstead hosts story times, youth football camps, college field trips, free health and wellness fairs and provides resources, warm meals and school supplies. The most notable feature of Armstead's dedication to the community is not just the number of lives he's impacted, but his commitment to real change. Armstead's ethos that "a zip code should not define student opportunity" is one that pushes him beyond event-based impact and into outcome-based programming to close critical academic gaps.

Dual-Sport Athlete

If Armstead wasn't in the NFL, he would be playing basketball.

He was a three-year starter in basketball at Pleasant Grove High School in Sacramento and played two years at the University of Oregon before focusing solely on football for the 2014 season. He entered his high school senior season as the third-overall ranked prospect according to's Top-40 rankings for the class of 2012.

"I wanted to be the first person to play in the NBA and NFL, that was my goal," Armstead said on his podcast, Third and Long. "I remember in middle school I wanted to be an Army All-American and a McDonald's All-American and I wanted to play in the NBA and the NFL."

Hidden Talent

One of Armstead's hidden talents is his chess skills.

Armstead started playing virtual chess games on and used it as a way to keep in contact with former 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, now head coach of the New York Jets.

"That's how we stay connected, just playing chess throughout the season," Armstead said. "It gets competitive, we have a little rivalry."

Since joining in 2018, Armstead has played over 2,700 games under the username ARIK916 and has matched up against "master level" bots, people from across the world and even the 49ers Faithful.

"I've definitely learned a lot over the past year and a half," Armstead said. "I've gotten a lot better, for sure... It's definitely addictive, my wife gets mad at me. That's what I do like before I go to sleep."

Multi-Sack Games

Since joining the 49ers in 2015, Armstead has racked up a total of 40.5 sacks. Here is a list of Armstead's career multi-sack games:

  • 10/27/19 vs. Carolina Panthers (QB Kyle Allen), 2.0 sacks
  • 11/11/19 vs. Seattle Seahawks (QB Russell Wilson), 1.5 sacks
  • 11/24/19 vs. Green Bay Packers (QB Aaron Rodgers), 2.0 sacks
  • 12/20/20 vs. Dallas Cowboys (QB Andy Dalton), 2.0 sacks
  • 1/9/22 vs. Los Angeles Rams (QB Matthew Stafford), 2.5 sacks
  • 1/22/22 vs. Green Bay Packers (QB Aaron Rodgers), 2.0 sacks
  • 10/29/23 vs. Cincinnati Bengals (QB Joe Burrow). 2.0 sacks
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